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So, you’re throwing an outdoor barbecue bash but you’re at a loss for ideas. Perhaps this is your first barbecue or maybe you’re a seasoned pro looking to freshen up your hosting skills. Well, you’ve come to the right place.
From menu prepping to decorative flair, these ten outdoor barbecue ideas will put the fun back in the process of planning a party — plus, they’re sure to impress all of your guests.
The best way to keep yourself organized when it comes to your menu is to prepare as much as possible ahead of time, ideally the day before the party. The more prep work you do before the day of the barbecue, the less stressed you’ll be in the hours or minutes before your guests arrive. See if there’s anything on your menu that can be prepared and refrigerated the night before and determine what absolutely has to be done on the day of. Keeping yourself organized also results in having a better time on your big day as a host!
A little pre-planning in terms of colors and decor can go a long way. If you’re looking at planning a theme on a budget, a visit to your local dollar store could spark your creative interests and inspire an aesthetic that you might never have thought of. Even if your theme is as simple as blending two colors together, it can really pull the whole experience together.
String lights are the perfect decoration for any outdoor function — especially for summer parties or barbecues. When it starts getting dark, string lights set a warm and romantic but playful tone to the evening. String lights make a space seem a lot cozier and more inviting. For an added bonus, get some cozy blankets and pillows out on the lawn and create a little comfort space where your guests can hang out as the party moves into the evening.
On the subject of keeping the party going long after dinner has ended, what better way to do this than with a fire pit? Going along with the warm, string-light-and-blankets aesthetic, setting up a pit around which to tell stories, roast marshmallows, or just chat is a great way to end the evening.
This is one of my personal favorite backyard party tips and tricks. Coolers are bulky, difficult to get around, and not always as aesthetically pleasing as other more creative options. That’s why filling a wheelbarrow with ice and sticking beer and other cold beverages in it is a great way to use something you already have to add a unique decorative touch. The same rustic, outdoorsy vibes simply can’t be achieved with cheap decor.
If you have a lot of natural foliage surrounding your yard, embrace it as an integral part of your decor! Instead of decking out the main table with clutter, consider going with a more simplistic design and placing the table in an area of your garden where it’s naturally situated among plants, flowers, or trees. If you have a droopy tree in your backyard, that may be a perfect place for a table. Even if leaves and other foliage fall from the tree, it’s all a part of the aesthetic.
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A fruity summer cocktail goes a long way with guests in need of a refreshment. There are a variety of recipes online of fruity cocktails that may be just perfect for your function. These recipes are easy to make, and, as we said, they’ll go far with your guests. If you’re throwing a themed party, consider calling the cocktail something fun and theme-appropriate.
A popcorn bar is an easy but impressive way to wow your guests and give them a delicious snack, too. You need a large bowl for some lightly buttered popcorn and a variety of smaller ones for candies, chocolates, and other fun seasonings. Make this idea even more fun by creating original labels with the names of the ingredients on them. Your guests will love it!
If you’re happy to consider renting or purchasing an outdoor screen, a movie night may be a great end to a lovely afternoon outdoors. Not only does it go perfectly with the aforementioned popcorn bar — you could also use a bunch of pillows, lawn chairs, and blankets to set up a comfortable viewing area. If you’re looking to facilitate an easy-to-execute bonding activity, this might be the way to do it.